SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27: It’s all about love for Eastern Christians today as the faithful focus more deeply on their preparations for Great Lent. This is the Sunday of the Last Judgment. Traditionally, Orthodox Christians observe several Sundays of devotion in preparation for Lent, a period called the Triodion—and today is called the Sunday of the Last Judgment. (Get more from the Orthodox Church in America.)
Today, Orthodox churchgoers will hear Christ’s parable of the Last Judgment, reminding them to see Christ in everyone and serve Christ through serving others. Eastern Christians remember that God’s final judgment will be based on love. (Read more on love and today’s biblical reading at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.) Today’s pre-Lenten preparation goes a step further when Orthodox Christians are reminded that today is Meatfare Sunday, the last day of eating meat before the Fast of Great Lent that ends with Pascha (Easter).
Eastern Pascha and Western Easter both fall on April 24 this year. Just as Eastern and Western Christians will mark their holiday on the same date, the Churches continue to work toward unity. A recent article in the Detroit Free Press detailed the visit of a senior leader of the Orthodox Church in England to metro Detroit Catholics and Orthodox Christians. (The full article is at Freep.com.) Metropolitan Kallistos Ware spoke on Orthodox-Catholic relations, and how the growth in unity must be taken slowly.
Are you preparing for Lent this year? ReadTheSpirit also offers some great ideas for Lenten meditation and discussion.